VFR Mastery is a continuing series of online, scenario-based workshops. Each month, we provide a challenging VFR scenario that tests your knowledge and hones your decision-making skills.
It’s more than reading another article or watching another video. VFR Mastery delivers a powerful way to keep your head in the game and gain valuable experience from the comfort of your computer.
Your VFR Mastery Subscription Includes:
Each month, VFR Mastery subscribers get a new online scenario. Our instructors follow a proven, step-by-step process that will test your knowledge and help you learn in a fun and effective way.
New Monthly Scenarios
Receive unlimited, online access to all new scenarios every month. Includes scenario overview videos, resources and tools for additional analysis, live polling and detailed instructional videos. We email you when new scenarios are published.
Unlimited online access to the “Hangar” (members-only discussion forum) where pilots discuss and debate the scenarios. You can join these discussions any time, or ask our instructors a question. Some of the best learning occurs in the forums.
We get the instructors together and open the microphones. They share personal experiences and additional, detailed observations on the scenarios. Listen online or download MP3 audios.
Monthly VFR Quizzes
Prepare to be challenged! These quizzes are short but will really test your knowledge. You will get feedback on all answers to reinforce your understanding of the topics. We email you when each new quiz is published.
Receive 3 WINGS credits for every completed VFR Mastery scenario. We’ve issued credit for tens of thousands of completed workshops! Add your email to the form on our website and we’ll do the rest to make sure your credit is issued by the FAA Safety Team.
Sample Briefing Video
The briefing video details the scenario you’ll be evaluating.
"These VFR scenarios make my palms sweat...I enjoy these scenarios because they stretch my thinking beyond the methods and procedures that I have ingrained through so much IFR flying."
Meet The VFR Mastery Instructors
Our team of award-winning instructors help pilots at all levels reach a higher standard of safety and excellence.
Paul Bertorelli is an ATP-CFII and in addition to instructing, he has been a charter pilot and sometime skydiving aircraft pilot. He’s also an experienced skydiver with more than 3,000 jumps. He’s currently editor at large for www.avweb.com and has been the editorial director and editor of Belvoir Media Group publications including IFR, Aviation Consumer, Aviation Safety and IFR Refresher. He has produced numerous aviation videos. He lives near Sarasota, Florida.
Sarah is dedicated to helping aviators get better at their craft. Sarah is a West Point graduate and Army combat aviator. She flew the OH-58D during the invasion of Iraq and C-12s in Afghanistan in 2013. She currently flies the King Air 350 out of Portland, OR and is still an active pilot in the Oregon Army National Guard. As an avid aviation blogger, she has written for IFR Refresher, Air Facts Journal and on her own website: ThinkAviation.net. Her articles are focused on providing practical explanations of complex aviation topics.
Dave Hirschman is an ATP/CFII who specializes in aerobatic and tailwheel flight instruction. He has provided more than 2,000 hours of aerobatic dual instruction in airplanes including the Decathlon, Pitts S-2B, Extra 300L, Stearman, WACO, and T-6. He has flown piston singles in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Mexico, and the Bahamas and performed air-to-air photo missions in those places.
Dave is the author of “Hijacked: The Heroes of Flight 705,” and he has been on the editorial staff of AOPA Pilot magazine since 2008. He has logged more than 8,000 flight hours in single and multi-engine land and seaplanes. He has a masters degree in journalism from the University of Michigan.
Richard McSpadden is the Executive Director of AOPA’s Air Safety Institute and an active flight instructor. He holds a Commercial certificate with CFII, MEI, SEL ratings and a single-pilot Citation jet type rating. Richard began his GA flying in college and later flew F-15s, F-16s and the Super King Air 300 for the USAF. He culminated his USAF career as the Commander and Flight Leader of the USAF Thunderbirds. Richard instructed his high school age son to successful completion of his PPL and is currently teaching his daughter, who soled in their SuperCub earlier this summer.
Judy Phelps was the “National Flight Instructor of the year” in 2011 and the 2010 Western Pacific Region FAA Flight Instructor of the year. Judy’s career in aviation started in 1994 when she met and married Clay Phelps, the CP of CP Aviation, located in Santa Paula California. In 2003 she became a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) and has logged over 10,000 hours. Judy Specializes in Tailwheel, Aerobatics and Emergency Maneuver Training.
Leader of AOPA’s Aviation Strategy and Programs division
As leader of AOPA’s Aviation Strategy and Programs division, Katie is responsible for its You Can Fly program, which focuses on growing and engaging the aviation community, and the Air Safety Institute, which has been providing free resources to help pilots fly safely for more than 60 years. Prior to joining AOPA, Katie earned a degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and flew the Canadair Regional Jet with Atlantic Coast Airlines/Independence Air. She went on to serve as the director of communications for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association. Her idea of the perfect weekend involves flying her 1956 Cessna 180 Skywagon in her home state of Montana.
Hobie Tomlinson is a Master Certified Flight Instructor with over 10,600 hours of instruction given, a Designated Pilot Examiner, an FAA Master Pilot and the 2012 FAA Flight Instructor of the Year. As a highly respected professional in Aviation Safety, Tomlinson has developed and managed comprehensive safety programs for permanent fleets at FBO sites and for private aircraft owners and their crews. Having operated an independent flight instruction service, consulted with flight schools, and provided instruction to private individuals, he brings a breadth and depth of knowledge and experience.
Master CFI Tom Turner holds an ATP certificate with instructor, CFII and MEI ratings and has a Masters Degree in Aviation Safety. He was the 2010 National FAA Safety Team Representative of the Year and the 2008 FAA Central Region CFI of the Year and has logged over 2,500 hours instructing. In 2015 Tom was inducted into the NAFI Flight Instructor’s Hall of Fame.
Tom was a Captain in the United States Air Force and has been Lead Instructor for the Bonanza pilot training program at the Beechcraft factory. He now directs the education and safety arm of a 9000-member pilots’ organization.
Jeff Van West is PilotWorkshops’ Creative Director with the primary responsibility for managing the development and creation of the company’s pilot proficiency training programs, including our flagship IFR and VFR Mastery programs.
For 19 years, Jeff ran many noteworthy aviation media projects with his own firm, Van West Communications, including magazines, books, videos, and live seminars. Jeff previously served as editor-in-chief of IFR Magazine and co-editor of Aviation Consumer, and his work appears in AOPA Pilot, Flight Training Magazine, Plane and Pilot, and AVweb. He’s an experienced flight instructor with certifications for single- and multi-engine airplanes, seaplanes, and gliders. Jeff was the creator of the first pilot transition program for new Cirrus aircraft.
BruceWilliamsis the owner of BruceAir, LLC, an aviation consulting, training, and pilot-services company based in Seattle, WA. He has been a pilot since the early 1970s, and he is a certified flight instructor and FAASTeam representative in the Seattle area. Today, he focuses on training in technically advanced aircraft (TAA), the Beechcraft Bonanza series, and stall/spin/upset recovery courses in an Extra 300L aerobatic aircraft. He also instructs at Galvin Flying Services at Boeing Field. During a 15-year career at Microsoft, he worked on six versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator. In the 1980s, he edited the Western Flyer (now the General Aviation News). He is also the author of two books about using PC-based simulation to complement flight training, plus many features on a variety of topics for aviation-focused periodicals.
Get Started With These Scenarios
Holiday in Montpelier
A weekend reunion with family is only one short flight away. After a delayed start, things seem on track: You have the airport in sight from miles away, winds are right down the runway, all the airplane gauges are in the green. Yet something doesn’t seem right. What’s that little voice inside trying to tell you?
It’s the perfect sunny day to take your new airplane and three friends for a day off the coast of California. The only catch is a bank of fog lingering just off your destination airport. The ASOS calls it IFR, but you see the runway in the clear. Will you still try and land?
Squeeze Play in Arkansas
VFR into IMC might be the deadliest trap for non-instrument pilots. It’s easy to say you’d just turn around, but the reality of cross-country flying is that deteriorating weather lures even the most resolute souls when it occurs slowly, and with tempting options–that can vanish in moments if the conditions are right.
A Short-Field Barbecue
A day of fair-weather flying, tailwinds, and an on-airport restaurant with the tastiest barbecue in the county: What could be better? The after-lunch departure, however, leaves you deciding between departing uphill and upwind, downhill and downwind. Trees off one runway end complicate matters further. Don’t wait too long; this fair weather won’t last.
All the Way to Jackson
Difficult situations can crop up on beautiful days and without anything actually going wrong. In fact, these might be the most insidious of traps because they lure you in. Watch how a series of reasonable decisions creates a tough conundrum. How would you handle a situation where every option leaves you feeling uncomfortable?
Crossed Up at Four Corners
Sport planes and a Sport Pilot Certificate can be tools for real travel by air, with a few limitations. There’s no night flight, usually no instrument flight, and light wing loading can make turbulence challenging. That means creativity might be required to complete the mission—or sometimes just to get back on the ground.
Aromatic Issues Over St. Louis
Fire might be the most terrifying thing a pilot can face. Even the possibility of a fire is enough to warrant an immediate diversion. But what if the nearest place has no assurance of landing, and the surest one is practically your destination anyway? And what if it’s not fire but just the smell of fuel?
Pattern Problems in Astoria
The winds are favoring one runway, but the other pilots are using a different runway and a crosswind one at that. Will you forgo the normal traffic pattern entry and fly a straight-in, attempt a normal traffic pattern entry, or go against the flow of traffic and land on the runway no one else is using?
VFR Mastery Q&A – Answers to Common Questions
Q: Will it run on my Computer and iPad?
A: Yes. VFR Mastery runs on Windows PCs, Mac, iPad, iPhone, and Android devices. The only requirement is an internet connection and a web browser.
Q: How long does my VFR Mastery subscription last?
A: It’s month-to-month. There is no long-term obligation or commitment, you can easily cancel at any time via online, email or phone. We send you two emails per month so you won’t forget about it.
Q: It sounds good, can I try it for a month or two?
A: Sure. That’s the beauty of our monthly subscription. Obviously, we want you to get value from your subscription and improve as a pilot. However, if it’s not for you…you can cancel at any time (easily done on our website, email or over the phone) and billing will stop immediately. This puts you in control without investing a lot of money up front.
Q: Will you ever raise my price in the future?
A: No. Your price will never increase as long as you remain an active subscriber.
Give it a try – You have nothing to lose!
If you aren’t completely satisfied at any time, you can cancel your subscription and billing will stop immediately.
PilotWorkshops.com has been a A+ rated member of the Better Business Bureau since 2006.
You can earn 3 WINGS credits for each scenario completed: 1 basic, 1 advanced and 1 master. An easy way to stay current and advance within the WINGS program!
VFR Mastery Online Subscription
Membership includes access to scenario library, plus a new scenario every month
Your subscription will automatically renew with new monthly scenarios until you decide to stop. This can easily be done by email, phone or on the website.
Retail Price: $19 / month
PilotWorkshops is proud to support AOPA and its membership in their mission of advancing the growth and safety of general aviation.